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Human Rights Watch: Saudi Arabia has executed 48 people since the beginning of the year

SAUDI ARABIA (OBSERVATORY) –┬áSaudi Arabia executed 48 people in the first four months of this year, half of them in drug cases, Human Rights Watch said, calling on the kingdom to improve its “unjust” justice system.

“A large number of convicted drug cases are awaiting execution following convictions by the criminal justice system,” the New York-based organization said in a report released Wednesday.

The conservative kingdom is one of the most countries to carry out executions on charges of involvement in acts of terrorism, murder, rape or drug trafficking.

Human rights experts have consistently warned that fair trials are not being held in this country.

“The execution of so many people by Saudi Arabia is really terrible,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East and North Africa director for Amnesty International. “A number of them have not committed violent crimes.”

In 2017, about 150 people were executed in Saudi Arabia.

In an interview this month with Time Magazine, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said his country could replace life sentences in some cases with the exception of murder cases.